Items ranging from the gently ironic to the satirical

Big Trouble

The NY Times has an interesting article about translating the Koran. Apparently the literal word of God contains lots of words with multiple meanings. A good example is Chapter 4, Verse 34. According to the NY Times, “The verse says that a rebellious woman should first be admonished, then abandoned in bed, and ultimately “beaten” — the most common translation for the Arabic word “daraba” — unless her behavior improves.”

What about those other translations for “daraba”?

The story explains “There are at least 20 English translations of the Koran. “Daraba” has been translated as beat, hit, strike, scourge, chastise, flog, make an example of, spank, pet, tap and even seduce.”

You can see the big problem here: A good number of wives might enjoy being spanked, petted, tapped and even seduced. If any of those last four definitions are the ones Allah intended, it means big trouble for Muslim men. You’re going to get a lot of this:

Wife: “Hey, Abdul, I spray painted the Star of David on your Mercedes because I’m rebellious! Now God says you have to seduce me! I like chocolate!”

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Online Learning Haven: Naw Ruz

The Bahai New Year is called Naw Ruz. Naw Ruz is one of the nine Holy days of Bahai community. The event takes place in the Vernal Equinox, on 21st March. It also marks the on set of Spring and the beginning of the Iranian year. The celebration of Naw Ruz also indicates spiritual growth and regeneration.

Presently, the Bahais are a popular religious sect across the world. They believe that God is an all-pervading spirit and He stays inside every being, no matter what his religion is. Besides, this pious sect believes that God figures Himself through every religion, be it in the shape of Moses, Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha or Zoroaster. They too throw light on the truth that, the entire humanity is a single race, and shares a common Destiny.

The origin of Naw Ruz is quite interesting. According to the Badi calendar, it is ‘Yamaullah’ or the Day of God. Naw Ruz is also called Bab or the Day Of Point. It is also significant, for its association with the promised Messenger of Bab, whom God will make manifest.

{josquote}On this occasion, Baha declares that there is no other God instead of Himself.{/josquote}

The Persian Bahais still observe some of the Iranian customs during Naw Ruz. On this occasion, Baha declares that there is no other God instead of Himself. He Himself is the ‘Beloved’, ‘Precious’ and ‘Indestructible’.

The Festivities of Naw Ruz

The festivities go on for long nineteen days in the month of Baha.. Bahais go through nineteen day fast before Naw Ruz. On the bright morning of the Naw Ruz they break their fast.

The nineteen-day fasting is broken with a huge feasting. The table is decorated with fruits, cakes and colored eggs. In the festivity of Naw Ruz, some symbolic factors are also very significant; a Holy Book, a mirror and the seven ‘S’s. These seven ‘S’s represent Hyacinths, Apples, Lilies, Silver Coins, Garlic, Vinegar and Rue.

{josquote}In the Bahai religion, instruments are prohibited.{/josquote}

On the day of Naw Ruz people do not go to work. They pray and celebrate for the whole day. The Naw Ruz festivities are full of pomp and pageantry and it culminates with a grand dinner. In the Bahai religion, instruments are prohibited. But, on the auspicious day of Naw Ruz, Bahaullah allows the Bahais to sing and play various instruments. It is also a season of sharing greetings and gift.

Thus, Naw Ruz, is a festival of prayer, mirth and fellowship, spent with remarkable calm and quiet.

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No sects please, we're Baha'is

Girl: Unlike other religions there are no sects in Bahai. There is only one Bahai with an administrative board.
Me: What do you mean there is no sex in Bahai?
Girl: I mean exactly that...there are no sects in Bahai, there is only one Bahai. Sects... S-E-C-T-S.
Me: OHHHHH....

As you can clearly see, I should have asked her to spell glamorous while she was at it. ... But for that moment I thought that Bahai was some weird crackpot religion where all their followers are asexual and can manage to suppress all their natural desires.

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A Virtuous Baha'i...

So a Baha'i finds a magic lamp and runs to share it with his two fellows stranded on an island. The Baha'i, who is a bit simple, rubs the lamp and asks the genie for three wishes for his friends and himself. The genie replies "I'm sorry, but the rules say I can only grant one of the three wishes to each of you. "OK," says the first friend, I wish for full treasure chests in my new castle in Aruba!" and Poof!, he is gone. The second friend wishes to return to his family estate enlarged by three times with the richest soil, and Poof! He is gone. The Baha'i says, "Well, I'm really not motivated by material things...I'd just like my friends back...

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